Hooked on zebrafish: insights into development and cancer of endocrine tissues

    1. Yariv Houvras
    1. Departments of Surgery and Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital, 1300 York Avenue, New York, New York 10065, USA
    1. (Correspondence should be addressed to Y Houvras; Email: yah9014{at}med.cornell.edu)


    Zebrafish is emerging as a unique model organism for studying cancer genetics and biology. For several decades zebrafish have been used to study vertebrate development, where they have made important contributions to understanding the specification and differentiation programs in many tissues. Recently, zebrafish studies have led to important insights into thyroid development, and have been used to model endocrine cancer. Zebrafish possess a unique set of attributes that make them amenable to forward and reverse genetic approaches. Zebrafish embryos develop rapidly and can be used to study specific cell lineages or the effects of chemicals on pathways or tissue development. In this review, we highlight the structure and function of endocrine organs in zebrafish and outline the major achievements in modeling cancer. Our goal is to familiarize readers with the zebrafish as a genetic model system and propose opportunities for endocrine cancer research in zebrafish.

    • Revision received 20 May 2011
    • Accepted 31 May 2011
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 1 June 2011
    | Table of Contents